20 Jul 2018 -

Technology Highlight: UAVs and Drones

Astute Drones

Emech at Astute Explore the History and Technical Elements of Drones & UAVs

Russian Airforce UAVThe history of Drones & UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) is long and distinguished, but in the past, they have been a tool of the military. Used for surveillance and electronic warfare; these UAVs usually took the form of scaled-down aeroplanes.

The drones of today are the direct descendants of the UAVs of the past, but there the similarities end. Modern drones look less like miniature aircraft and more like something from science fiction. The performance of modern drones is in the realms of science fiction too, boasting advanced battery systems, autonomous control and high definition cameras.

As the demands to improve the functionality of modern drones increase, so must the demands made of the interconnection devices within the drone. As drones get smaller, the requirement for lightweight connectors becomes greater. Fortunately, Astute Electronics is well placed to assist with the design of your next drone system with a range of products that offer small size, lightweight and high performance.

For video applications, Japanese manufacturer I-Pex manufacturers a range of miniature, high-speed coaxial connectors. The CABLINE family of Micro-Coax connectors offers between 10 and 60 micro coax connections on a pitch as small as 0.25mm. Capable of data rates up to 20GBps with 360 deg shielding, CABLINE is perfect for USB 3.1, Thunderbolt™3, eDP HBR3, PCIe® Gen 3/4 applications.

The use of military connectors within the modern drone is difficult, due to the metal shell and bulky construction of the connector itself, and yet the superb reliability of the contacts is an attractive feature. Amphenol have created ideal solution to this problem with the Pegasus and Luminus range of connectors. Utilising tried-and- trusted contact types, the shell of the connector is manufactured in a lightweight plastic, whilst the slim design is perfect for use in confined spaces. Waterproof to IP67, the Pegasus offers a conductive shell in applications where shielding is required.


In situations where nothing but a robust, metal-shelled connection will make the grade, Swiss manufacturer LEMO has developed the M Series. It combines the high density of traditional LEMO connectors, with a ratcheted screw-locking system for vibration-proof installation. The shell is made from lightweight aluminum alloy and is designed to be considerably smaller than traditional military designs.

Shielding against electromagnetic interference (EMI) is crucial to drone systems, not just to protect the valuable electronics but also for security. The EESeal from Quell is a fantastic way to filter your signals against

unwanted EMI, and can be retrofitted in seconds. EESeals are already used in a huge spectrum of applications within the aerospace industry, where the light weight and small size make them a great choice for protection.

Drones are here to stay and will continue to find applications in all walks of life, from surveillance and law enforcement to express delivery and leisure use.

They have even been used in light shows; you can catch a glimpse of Intel’s 100 drone light show in Sydney, Australia in the video above.


Emech at Astute

The Astute Emech Product Team are well equipt to deliver exceptional technical design-in support for a huge variety of applications. Make Astute your trusted partner for a huge range of components that will enhance your design and exceed your customer’s requirements.

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